As many of the restrictions are loosening up, and people are getting out a little bit more, tempers are cooling, and smiles are appearing. We needed this; so glad it is moving forward, but we all have to make sure we don’t violate any of the precautions or rules. We certainly don’t want to go backward! I honestly think that as a community, we have worked together well! For the most part, people have been considerate, helpful, generous, friendly, and more. We have a marvelous community to live in and great neighbors to work with. I honestly and sincerely believe we were one of the most outstanding and safe communities in Florida! The credit goes to many! And mostly to you who followed the rules! We are in a much better place than other parts of Florida.
*The weekend of May 23rd and 24th is Memorial Day! Make sure you put your flags out! We must never forget all who gave to us unselfishly, and who have laid their lives down for us!
*Here is a story I know you’ll want to read. Many people don’t realize how many horses we have on ranches, farms or private property in East Naples! When the fires started last week, the horse owners in the area got busy knowing it was headed their way. They put out an “all-points bulletin” to other horse owners in the area, and in no time at all, the horse owners from all over Collier County, Immokalee and Lee County with horse trailers came rolling in! It was a magnificent sight to see. Everyone pulling together! These horse owners drop everything when the emergency call goes out, load up the trailers and make a beeline to help those in distress! They look like a movie in action! Now, you’re probably wondering what they do with over a hundred horses, right? They each take the horses back to their ranches or farms and keep them there until the area is safe again. They feed them, clean them, water them, and give them exercise. Actually, I think they ought to make a movie about the rescue and care given to their friends or complete strangers. Many times, when the horses get back, there isn’t much to come back to, so again, they all pitch in to help each other! It’s almost like the Amish; except the Amish don’t drive. A couple years ago when the last huge fire raged, and once it wasn’t dangerous to visitors, Governor Rick Scott came down to help and offer funding to those who need it. He was wonderful! We already had the federal government here and FEMA, and many other branches pitching in to help. It was amazing how all came to the rescue! No lives were lost, although many homes and ranches were lost. One fella was telling me his barn was filled with ancient tools from his grandpa and great-grandpa, and now they were forever lost. That fire burned mobile homes in the area as well—just melted them right down! I had no idea how many mobile home parks were located so far inland along 951 that you couldn’t even see them.
Well, the same thing is going on right now out there! My daughter in Golden Gate Estates lives in the path of the fire. The emergency personnel have threatened to vacate the area, but so far have not. She has her things packed and ready to go if need be. Her dog will be with her no matter where she goes. My son is out there also, working for EMS—while also working with patients with COVID-19. Right now, he and his family are safe out in that section of the estates. Again, at this point, no deaths have occurred from the fire. Thank God! There are more fires raging in the Everglades area, in the Picayune Strand, the Big Cypress, and more. Each has a separate fire. We have firefighters converging on us to help, coming from Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Ft. Myers, Bonita, Sarasota, Charlotte County, Tampa and more. Many volunteers are needed to get water and food and help to those on the front lines. The County’s Emergency Management Division is working ‘round the clock coordinating things, workers, volunteers, food, water, etc. I wish I were a little bit younger because I’d love to be out there helping! Even just being near Command Central!
*As you know, I write some things about East Naples because I live there, I think some of the Islanders would like to know what is happening out there. There is a building going up right now next to the shopping center on U. S. 41E. which will house the Keiser University when finished. It will be two buildings and they already have 450 people signed up to attend! They will focus on medical education such as entry–level aides, X-Ray Techs, Nurses, Physicians Asst., Dental Hygiene, LPN’s, office personnel and more. I’m sure that will be a welcome relief for the medical system in Collier County.